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The KNAW (Koninklijke Nederlandse Academie van Wetenschappen, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) has selected nineteen new members, among whom one of whom is Professor Ralph Wijers, director of the Anton Pannekoek Institute. Members of the KNAW, leading scientists in all scientific of all disciplines, are selected for their scientific achievements. The KNAW now has circa 550 members. Membership is for life.

Ralph Wijers led the theoretical work to solve the mystery of gamma ray bursts, the most energetic cosmic explosions. He and his team showed that the afterglow of gamma ray bursts is the result of a wave of explosions originating far outside our Milky Way and not within it, solving a long standing debate. Wijers is also an expert on the matter in the field of neutron stars and black holes. He was and is intimately involved in the development of the LOFAR telescope. He focuses on innovations in ultra fast signal processing and radio monitoring, in order to advance the study of transients, such as the mysterious fast radio bursts that were discovered in 2007.

The new members of the academy will be instated on Monday, September 16.